Warm and Personal

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

BEGUILING in a lot of ways. That is often how some architects describe residential projects.

First, there is the illusion of size being always equal to expense and the hard work that must be poured into conceptualization until construction.

Dining area of Bread house with contemporary design
NATURAL LIGHT. The dining area bathed in natural light is one of the spaces where the family members keep each other abreast with stories about their daily routines.

Even with the seemingly easy scope, there are other intangible concerns that are often not reflected on the construction estimates or the bill of materials.


Then, there’s the mission of installing that connection of the building, not just to its surrounding environment, but also to its primary users. Ideas of the clients, their family and relatives and the architect often clash, but these are often opportunities to see the so-called other sideof the coin. And the architect is often bestowed with the task of making these ideas meet halfway and create a solution that satisfies all sides.

The warm, homey atmosphere can be felt almost palpably in the areas where the family hangs out—the living and dining areas. “The owner brought in old furniture that they kept all these years and mixed them with new, contemporary ones. So these heirloom pieces are one of the elements that brings warmth into the house because these are valuable and relevant to them and is hard for them to let go. Holding on to things with sentimental value is a familiar practice for most Filipino families,” the architect says.

The ideal architect-client tandem in a building project is evident in the finished “product.” The family’s being closely knit radiates from the social spaces provided herein. Moreover, their love for art and taste for good design made the architect’s work a bit easier in terms of translating their visions into an appealing architectural piece, thus the project has attained a more personal connection especially to the client.

Bread house with contemporary design
BREAD HOUSE is what the article labels this project in reference to the family name of its owners. But it is nowhere in the form of a delectable loaf for breakfast. It is a residence with a contemporary look but personable on the inside.

The architect also said that the family loves to go out. “But I am sure that with their new home, they’re going to love spend more time in it. This house, despite being compact, had put a clear separation between the living room and the family room. We made sure that the TV and other entertainment amenities goes to the family room upstairs, leaving the living room below solely for receiving guests and purely for having good conversations,” Arcilla explains.

In fact, the project has been “personalized” even further when the architect labeled this house in his portfolio as “The Bread House,” not because the building looks like a loaf of bread but this was in reference to the family name of his clients, which is the Filipino term for “bread.”

Architect Arcillas created a welcome respite in a neighborhood dominated by what he described as “the old and traditional.” With its mixture of contemporary and Asian look, he admits that the house he created looks like an “odd ball” in the community. Yet he was quick to say that it is part of the architects’ commitment in positively changing the Cebuano skyline into an improved snapshot while staying rooted in the identity of the local people and the building users.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 16, 2014.


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